As we play out the final month of the 2011-'12 NBA season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Pistons.
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Detroit appeared to be full bore into rebuild when it made a questionable long term deal with small forward Tashaun Prince. Prince remains a solid contributor, but really doesnt fit in a rebuild mode. Prince remains Detroits best trade option, expect him to go sometime next year at the deadline to a contender. With cap issues, Ben Gordon may fall victim to amnesty. The Pistons do have an excellent core to build around in center Greg Monroe and guards Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey. Adding a center or power forward with their lottery selection may have them on their way to the bottom of the playoff picture.
At five million over the cap, the Pistons will need to restructure the roster, starting with execution of their amnesty provision (see below).
Detroit has both of its original draft selections, with the first round probably landing mid-lottery. The Pistons could use another big body to assist the undersized Greg Monroe. Illinois seven footer Myers Leonard might be a good fit. If Detroit utilizes amnesty on Ben Gordon, expect a guard in the second round. Michigan freshman point guard Trey Burke is coming out and would be an excellent "local" selection.
The Pistons have yet to use their amnesty provision. Shooting guard Ben Gordon has 25 million remaining over the next two years and may be a candidate.
The Good: Greg Monroe is one of the best young post players in the association. Detroit lucked out getting point guard Brandon Knight, who wwas thought by some worthy of the top overall pick over Kyrie Irving. Rodney Stuckey has been inconsistent, but is a nice partner with Knight for years to come. With the veteran Prince at small forward, Detroit needs to hit the jackpot with their lottery pick, preferably with a big man to help out Monroe underneath.
The Bad: Why sign veteran Tyshaun Prince to a multi-year deal while you have cap problems and are in a rebuild? Charlie Villanueva also makes big money and isn't part of the rotation. Ben Gordon is streaky, certainly a luxury Detroit cannot afford with his huge contract. Austin Daye has yet to deliver, he may be too thin to take the banging on a regular basis.
Detroit has ten players under contract returning. Forward/Center Jason Maxiell is team option, but is expected to return.
Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell
Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko
Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight, Will Bynum
Vernon Maclin, Myers Leonard, Trey Burke
Who Are The Experts Taking and When? Check Out The Latest ADP from The NFBC!
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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